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Dental School Mouth
07-08-2015, 04:01 AM
I'm currently trying to put together a print book at Createspace, but I need to pause to get some answers. I need software but am not sure which book-making program would be best.

At Createspace you can use their cover creator or just upload your finished pdf of the cover. My understanding is that most print-on-demand companies can work with pdf's. Is that right? If so, then I would like to be able to generate pdf's for both cover files and interior files. That way I could switch from one printer to another with the least amount of trouble.

My programming needs for now are pretty simple--I need to produce interiors and covers for novels. No graphics inside, just text, mirrored margins, gutters, header/footer ability and so on.

As for creating covers, I'll want as much flexibility as possible in a program, but user friendly. I'll be importing photos, manipulating text, inserting my own barcode boxes from online generators and so on. The usual stuff.

I'll use the standard trim sizes (6x9, 5.25x8.5 and 5x8). I don't know if the programs come with those templates, but I'd need those three to begin with. Are templates something you have to buy in addition to the program?

I'm currently using an old version of MS Word as a processor, and an array of ancient drawing programs and pdf converters. I want to be able to do all the book-making work with one software package.

Any recommendations on which package I should buy?

Thanks.

PS - In the future I'd like to do two other projects that are more ambitious than just straightforward text. One is a picture book using 150 scanned photos. That would require a larger template. I would also like to do a flipper book, like they used to put out in the 60's--sci-fi novellas, printed half one way, then you flipped the book around and upside down and the back cover became the front. The picture book and the flipper are the most advanced projects I can think of at this point, and it would be nice to have software that can handle them.

Thanks again.

J. Tanner
07-08-2015, 08:50 PM
Adobe Indesign is the industry standard.

It runs $30 a month when you need it or $20 a month if you want to commit to a year's worth.

It has a steep learning curve. Proper typesetting also has a learning curve.

You mentioned flipbooks. CreateSpace does not allow them. They'll reject your file. (No idea about Ingram Spark or Lulu.)

BenPanced
07-08-2015, 09:11 PM
I'll use the standard trim sizes (6x9, 5.25x8.5 and 5x8). I don't know if the programs come with those templates, but I'd need those three to begin with. Are templates something you have to buy in addition to the program?

As far as interior content, CreateSpace provides templates in various sizes at this link (https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp?sitesearch_query=template&sitesearch_type=SITE). For book covers, they provide a template (https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do?sitesearch_query=template&sitesearch_type=SITE) based on the length of your work, the trim size, and what sort of interior finish you're looking for (black and white or color, with or without full bleed). Once you enter that information, it'll create a template you can use to format your cover, and it includes bleed and margin guides.

Dental School Mouth
07-08-2015, 11:50 PM
Thanks for the input.

One of the computers I work on is out in the sticks. The cabin has electricity but no phone or internet hookup. An online service like Indesign wouldn't be practical there. I need a program that's more traditional--software on a disc--so I can load it onto that computer. And I certainly won't be able to access Createspace for online sessions.

Also, I need to produce pdf's that I can tweak for different printers. Createspace won't allow this or that, same with Lulu, same with others. Maybe I'll find a printer that will do the flip books. So I need a program that will allow me to go back in and make adjustments, then re-save the pdf.

I figure the flip books will be the ultimate challenge, and I hope to find a program capable of producing them before I purchase and begin a new learning curve.

Still looking. Thanks again for the input. Any other ideas would be welcomed.